Environmental impacts of farming | WWF

Environmental impacts of farming

Unsustainable agricultural and aquaculture practices present the greatest immediate threat to species and ecosystems around the world.

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Corn (Zea mays) growing in southern Ontario, Canada.
© Frank Parhizgar / WWF-Canada
Farmed areas – both on land and in the water – provide important habitats for many wild plants and animals.

When farming operations are sustainably managed, they can help preserve and restore critical habitats, protect watersheds, and improve soil health and water quality.

But when practiced without care, farming presents the greatest threat to species and ecosystems.

Indeed, many of WWF's priority places and species are negatively impacted by agriculture and/or aquaculture.

Multiple impacts

Negative environmental impacts from unsustainable farming practices include:

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